Beach-Profile Evolution under Spilling and Plunging Breakers

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water, water waves, sediments, modelling, civil engineering

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Beach-profile evolution, along with measurements of waves, currents, and sediment concentration, under spilling and plunging breakers of similar height were studied in the three-dimensional Large-Scale Sediment Transport Facility at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center. Unidirectional irregular waves were generated over a fine-sand beach. Beach-profile shape reached equilibrium after 1,330 and 280 min of spilling and plunging wave actions, respectively. Near the main breaker line, the profile evolved differently under plunging and spilling breakers. Across most of the midsurf zone dominated by surf bores, the equilibrium profile shapes were similar. Uniform energy dissipation per unit volume at equilibrium, as assumed in the Dean 1977 model and often used in cross-shore sediment-transport modeling, was measured for both cases across most of the surf zone except at the main breaker line, where a much greater rate of dissipation occurred. The bar/trough formation and maintenance were closely related to the local patterns of sediment suspension and bed scour at the plunging point.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Journal of Waterway, Port, Coastal, and Ocean Engineering, v. 129, issue 1, p. 41-46